(Kuhiwa Erwin and her family are my friends. I want to introduce them to you and let them become your friends also. One of the best ways to do that is to tell you about her writing. So, please read her story in today’s blog. Thanks, Chris)

Books have always been a big part of my life. Since as far back as I can remember, I loved to write! Whether it was journaling or writing stories and poems, finding a quiet spot to just write filled my heart with such joy and peace. Both my parents, Ted and Tammy Coody, encouraged, inspired and challenged me in my passion for writing and taught me that no matter the talent the Lord gave, to always use that gift for His glory. I most fondly remember my parents telling my brother and I stories at bedtime about us and our dog Lady Belle. Those stories stuck with me throughout the years. They taught us values, about the Lord, how to be a family and just made me feel safe and loved. I cherished those bedtime, made-up stories and look back at those memories as some of my favorite moments growing up.

Unfortunately, life changed as I entered college and got married. Finding time to journal and write was impossible and it began to lose its appeal with all the “boring” college papers. Reading especially for pleasure became a drudge and as much as I loved and wanted to read, my pile of books kept growing while my motivation for reading them kept shrinking. My imagination began to die. The days of dreaming and creating stories in my mind came to an end and I lost joy in writing.

My husband and Navy Chaplain, Adam, is also an avid reader and so it was no real surprise when our son at 18 months began having a great fascination with letters and numbers and by age 2 was already reading. Now, he is nearly 4 and can read around a 1st grade level (possibly higher) and is drawn to books and learning as opposed to toys. Somehow, that eagerness of his began to rub off again on me and stirred up all those stories my parents once told when I was his age. So, I let myself imagine again. All those years of writing came back, and the first book was birthed in an evening.

Stories hold great power in teaching values and lessons, and I knew that I wanted to be influential in building strong character in our children through the stories. Just as my parents left a legacy for me to follow in instilling stories in me that I treasured, I want to leave a legacy for our children in the same way. And what better way, than to record those stories that not only they could pass on to their children, but other people could as well.

So with that, the adventures of Laurel (lamb), Willow (deer) and Brook (bunny) have begun with many life lessons to learn and explore. The first book was for our little boy that was not wanting to sleep or sleep by himself. I remember having nightmares during these young ages and being afraid to sleep so to know that the God was there even in his dreams brings comfort and rest to his little soul. The second book, was also very much inspired by our eldest in that he just could not seem to say “yes” about anything! Even the things he loved! So we had tried various methods to teach how to say “yes sir” and “no sir” not just “no”. But to no avail. Thus, this book I wanted to create the idea of how dull life is when you only can say “no” and the illustrations helped to convey and solidify that concept.

But most importantly, these books reveal a little bit more about a relationship with Jesus Christ! And that story will continue to develop over future stories. Come along and join Laurel, Willow and Brook as they go through many adventures and circumstances that our own (human) children face as a part of growing up.

I want to encourage you, dear reader, if you have children in your life, take advantage of these days. What in your childhood memories meant the most to you and how can you leave that kind of legacy with the ones who are now in your care? How will you leave your mark on those you love?

Books can be purchased at www.chavamade.com

Country Living Magazine article link:  https://www.countryliving.com/remodeling-renovation/a40137/vintage-camper-renovation/